Kayden Troff Wins Another Chess Tournament

Reported by Jonathan Whitcomb (March 2, 2016)

Open Section of the Tournament (like Blitz but with 2-second increments; 4-min/game per player)

American grandmaster Kayden Troff won the open section of the annual Utah Speed Championship, on February 27, 2016, at the University of Utah, with a perfect score of 14-0. Second place went to Bryan Leaño, who scored 10-4. Matthew Boren got third prize at 9-5. Fourth place was shared by Alexander Gustafsson and Alex Hall at 8½-5½. The tournament director was Steve Hoisington. Here are the final standings and how they came about:

tournament standings: Open Section

Final standings and opponent record for the open section, Utah Speed Championship of 2016


Reserve (unrated/under-1500 rating) (same time control as open section)

Vahan Karzhyan won in the reserve section, finishing with 8-2, two points ahead of Matthew Larson, Charles Evans, and Henry Chen. The tie-breaker gave the edge to Larson for second place. Here are the final standings:

six chess players in reserve section

Final standings in the reserve section of the 2016 Speed Championship of Utah


Notable Chess News for the Tournament

The youngest competitor, 7-year-old Jerry Zheng, played in the reserve section. The only female, Jamie Olsen-Mills, played in the open section, where the competition was much fiercer. More players would have been expected except that other tournaments were held in Utah on that day, chess events for high school and middle school students. That may explain why such a large proportion of players were adults in the Speed Championship tournament.

In the open section of the Utah Speed Championship, one of the games ended in a challenging endgame for the attacker: bishop-plus-knight against a lone king. The player with the two minor pieces had only a few seconds on his clock and could not come up with the final maneuver that could have driven the lone king to the critical mating corner: It was a draw.


Player Listing (alphabetical by surname)

Matthew Boren (open)

Henry Chen (reserve)

Charles (Chip) Evans (reserve)

Stephen Gordon (open)

Alexander Gustafsson (open)

Alex Hall (open)

Grant Hodson (open)

Vahan Kardzhyan (reserve)

Matthew C. Larson (reserve)

Bryan Leaño (open)

Jamie Olsen-Mills (open)

Charles Rasmussen (open)

Frank Rockwood (open)

Jeffery Scott (open)

Josh Smith (open)

Adam Stevenson (open)

Kayden Troff (open)

Brendon Young (reserve)

Jerry Zheng (reserve)


Images of the Tournament (photos by Jonathan Whitcomb)

Troff plays chess after the tournament

Kayden Troff (left) plays an offhand chess game after the tournament at the University of Utah


four of the reserve-section players

Left to right: Matthew C. Larson, Charles (Chip) Evans, and 1st-place winner Vahan Kardzhyan


Stephen Gordon on right

Preparing for a game in the open section (higher-rated players) at the University of Utah


The only female in the tournament

The only lady participant in the tournament: Jamie Olsen-Mills



Utah Speed Championship of 2016

Fourteen wins in as many games—that gave 17-year-old Kayden Troff a clear victory at the University of Utah, on Saturday, February 27, 2016, in the open section of the Utah Speed Championship.

Tactics in Chess Books

Three puzzles from three books on chess

An endgame at the Harman Chess Club in Utah

From a game played in West Valley City, Utah, early in 2016


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